This little treat originated from a rural part of Alentejo – Southern Portugal.
It translates literally to sweet little oranges, but in the recipe hides a terrible secret that would probably traumatize most of the children eating it: it is not made out of oranges.
In fact, the main ingredient is carrots!
Don’t close the page just yet! Carrots are sweet and have been used in desserts for the longest time. Moreover, Portuguese cook it with orange and lemon peels giving it an irresistible powerful citrus flavour.
So why is it called sweet little oranges if it is made out of carrots, you ask?
Because it tastes like it and looks like it!
The recipe that I am sharing with you here is far from the traditional one that requires only carrots, orange peels and a massive amount of sugar.
It also takes close to a day to make!
Instead, I used Portuguese carrot jam which already has the sweetness and the flavours we are looking for, and added almond meal and finely shredded coconut to it for the texture and a higher nutritional value.
Laranjinhas doces recipe:
Unsweetened finely shredded coconut
Small clementine or orange leaves for decoration (optional)
Depending on your taste and the water concentration of your jam, you will have to adjust the quantities. Just mix a spoon of each to start and then add what you think is missing: more jam for sweetness and moisture, more coconut for the flavour, more almond for a drier texture.
It tastes very close to the traditional treat and is a lot healthier.
Give it a shot!
And if you cover them in dark chocolate, you have some unique chocolates/truffles that would make a scrumptious gift.